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Over $190,000 Raised in Vermillion Victory Bonds During Dakota Days

The McVicker Plaza, which houses Charlie Over $190,000 was raised in gift-card value for over 50 local businesses during a four-day Vermillion Victory Bonds campaign.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota Foundation, in partnership with the Vermillion Area Chamber & Development Company (VCDC) and the university, raised $193,075 in gift-card value for over 50 local businesses during a four-day Vermillion Victory Bonds campaign.

“We are proud to have partnered with the VCDC on the Vermillion Victory Bonds program,” said Michelle Green, vice president for philanthropy and engagement at the USD Foundation. “Bringing alumni, friends and neighbors together to support the businesses that make Vermillion a vibrant and welcoming community for our campus is a strong complement to the work we do as an organization."

In total, 2,897 gift cards were purchased. Of the 330 transactions, 294 were from within South Dakota and 222 of those were based in Vermillion.

“We are ecstatic with the results of this campaign,” said Nate Welch, VCDC president and CEO. “The commitment from the community of Vermillion and extended USD family working together – from the financial commitment from the USD Foundation to make this possible, to the spirit of our community members who supported businesses in Vermillion – we are all lucky to have one another.”

“The outpouring of support and generosity of the Coyote family to local Vermillion businesses during the victory bonds campaign was outstanding,” said USD President Sheila K. Gestring. “We are grateful to everyone who gave and took part in the virtual activities. Though this Dakota Days was different, the Coyote pride was not lost.”

The USD Foundation and the VCDC ran this campaign Oct. 1-4, during Dakota Days, a time when local businesses typically see an increase in sales. However, due COVID-19 safety precautions, most of the event’s traditional activities – such as the downtown parade, homecoming football game and student street dance – did not take place.

The university and USD Foundation worked closely with the VCDC to come up with an idea that would support local businesses without drawing crowds to Vermillion. Due to the success of the Vermillion Victory Bonds program launched in the early days of the pandemic, the USD Foundation sponsored the sale of victory bonds to encourage community members, friends and alumni to buy gift cards for local businesses.

“It’s undeniable that we are going through a difficult time right now, but after a weekend like this, it feels just a little better knowing we are all going through it together,” Welch said.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News